Department of English

UNCW English graduate student Jenna McCarthy reads in Randall Library. - Photo by Jeff Janowski/UNCW
(Photo above) UNCW English graduate student Jenna McCarthy reads in Randall Library. - Photo by Jeff Janowski/UNCW

Combined B.A./M.A. Program

How to Apply

The bachelor's/master's degree program in English is designed to provide qualified students the means to complete the requirements for both degrees in a period of five years. A key feature of the program is that a student can count up to 12 hours of graduate-level courses in order to fulfill requirements for the B.A. and use those same 12 credits toward the M.A. in English.

The program is designed for students in the B.A. program in English who have:

  • Completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) and a maximum of ninety-eight (98) credit hours in their undergraduate programs. (Note: more hours may be permitted if the student is a double major.) Transfer students must have completed a minimum of two semesters as full-time students at UNCW, a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Completed ENG 204 or 205. Completed a minimum of nine (9) hours of 300-400 level English.
  • A minimum accumulated grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.7 on all 200-400 level English courses at UNCW.

Second Semester of Junior Year


1. Students who meet the above criteria should meet with the Graduate Coordinator to fill out and submit the ENG 3+2 Application Information Form (opens as PDF) requesting permission from the department chair to apply up to 12 hours of graduate-level credit earned during their senior year towards their future master's work in English.

2. The department chair, in consultation with the English graduate committee, may grant permission to apply up to 12 hours of graduate-level credit earned during the senior year towards the future master's degree in English. (Departmental permission to apply to the bachelor's/master's degree program does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School. Admission to the Graduate School is contingent upon meeting eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program.)

3. If permission is granted, the students meet with the Graduate Coordinator for advising and degree planning. During pre-registration, the students must fill out the Undergraduate Request to Enroll in Graduate Course (opens as PDF) form for graduate courses to be taken in the fall (typically 1 course). This form requires signatures of approval from instructors of requested graduate courses, the Graduate Coordinator, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Graduate School.

First Semester of Senior Year

1. The student typically will be enrolled in 1 graduate class and 3-4 undergraduate classes. He or she should prepare to submit the standard application for admission to the Graduate School during the second semester of the senior year.

2. During pre-registration for the following spring, the student must fill out the Undergraduate Request to Enroll in Graduate Course (opens as PDF) for the graduate courses to be taken in the spring (typically 3 courses). This form requires signatures of approval from instructors of requested graduate courses, the Graduate Coordinator, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Graduate School.

3. The student must submit a Graduate Degree Plan during the first semester of his or her senior year, signed by the prospective student, the department chair, and the graduate coordinator.

The Graduate Degree Plan for the master's degree must clearly indicate:

  • The specific 500-level ENG courses (maximum of 12 graduate credit hours) that will be double-counted for both bachelor's and master's degrees. (If you have been awarded a TA position, ENG 503 must be one of these; otherwise, it is optional. Typically, 1 course in the fall and 3 courses in the spring of senior year will be counted.)
  • The student's intention to fulfill course requirements for the master's degree no later than a year after receiving the bachelor's degree.
  • The intended graduation date for the master's degree (typically one year after the B.A., in the spring)

Second Semester of Senior Year

Student will typically be enrolled in 3 graduate courses and no undergraduate courses.

Student should submit the standard application for admission to the Graduate School early in the semester. The application is here.

Upon the graduate committee’s review of the submitted materials, a letter of acceptance (or denial) to the master's program will be sent to the student. Acceptance will be provisional and contingent on meeting specified degree requirements, including completion of the bachelor's degree and maintaining a 3.0 or better on all 500-level courses. A student who is ineligible to participate or continue in, or withdraws from, the bachelor's/master's program cannot double count any courses for both bachelor's and master's degrees. For more details, see the graduate coordinator.

Summer after B.A. Graduation
Because this is an accelerated program, students will need to complete 6 hours during the summer. If there is a graduate ENG course offered, students should take this class. They may choose from among internships, DIS, or a single course outside of the department for the other (3-6) hours.

Final Year in Program
Students will need to be registered full-time (9 hours) each semester. Students with TA or GA positions need to be aware of other obligations.

The program is 36 hours total (12 of which are counted for both B.A. and M.A.).